Bernie Little Memorial
Racing returns in breezy Ellensburg
R/CU facebook photo album available HERE
Chris Denslow (Digital Roostertails) photo album HERE
YouTube video playlist HERE
After an unusual spring, R/CU finally made its season debut in Ellensburg in late June, for the first race of the 2020 season. Due to local health mandates, the pit area looked a bit different. Pit tents were socially distanced at least six feet apart, and masks were required on the drivers stand. After a busy Saturday, several new boats were elevated to competition status and several new drivers were qualified.
It was all set for a great Sunday, although a breezy afternoon loomed in the forecast.
The wind started to pick up halfway through the day. However, with everyone kept in a good mood due to the fact that we were racing again. It was time for the finals on Sunday afternoon.
1/8th Scale Nitro Second Consolation
1st: 1991 The Edge/Hunan Harbor, Jeff Griffin
2nd: 1979 Miss Circus Circus, Geoffry Grembowski
3rd (DNF): 2016 Oh Boy! Oberto, Jim Putich
Attrition limited the second consolation heat to 3 boats. With the Circus Circus struggling, Jeff in The Edge managed the wind smartly and kept clean in order to advance to the first consolation.
1/8th Nitro First Consolation
1st: 1976 Olympia Beer, Greg Roth
2nd: 1982 Oh Boy! Oberto, Jim Brittain
3rd: 2011 Lakeridge Paving, Gary Grembowski
4th (DNF): 2016 Spirit of Qatar, Jim Putich
5th (DNF): 1991 The Edge/Hunan Harbor, Jeff Griffin
6th (DNF): 1988 Miss Stroh's Light, Scott Meyers
With the wind increasing, all drivers had to be careful to push. The Stroh's, Edge, and Spirit of Qatar all fell victim, eliminating their chance to advance to the final. That left a three boat fight, with the Oberto giving closer chase to the Oly. Jim pushed Greg and tried to make the Oly fall victim to the stiff wind, but Roth kept the boat on the water in order to win and advance to the final.
Gas Scale Final
1st: 1983 Miss Houston, Brian Packer
2nd: 1985 Coor's Light, Jeff Griffin
3rd (DNF): 1990 Infinity Car Audio, Scott Meyers
4th (DNS): 1962 Miss Bardahl, Ken Olson
The Bardahl had looked strong all day but failed to make the starting bell, as the boat drifted to a stop before the start. In the howling wind, it was the brand-new Infinity Car Audio who took the early charge and was looking good for a first victory. However, on the beginning of the final lap, the boat suddenly slowed and came to a stop. Post-race examination revealed a hull breach that allowed too much water into the engine compartment. All of a sudden, it was Brian Packer who vaulted into the lead with the Houston. He kept ahead of the Coor's, in order to take the first victory of the season.
1/8th Scale Electric (FE) Final
1st: 1976 Spirit of Dayton Walther, Brad Lewis
2nd: 1982 Oh Boy! Oberto, Henry Oord
3rd: 1981 Captran Resorts, Jason Colean
4th (DNF): 1972 Notre Dame, Bill Brandt
5th (DNF): 1986 Mr. Pringle's, Jim Brittain
It was the Spirit of Dayton Walther who led them across the line, and kept clean of the carnage in the first turn behind them. Then, it was a battle of who could challenge the wind behind them. Henry, with his debut race as pilot of the Oberto, pushed Brad and the Dayton Walther hard, but in the end it was Lewis taking home the victory. It was a unique victory for Brad, as it marked his first victory since 1997 in R/CU.
1/8th Scale Nitro Final
1st: 1976 Miss Vernors, Kirk Maupin
2nd: 1971 Country Boy, John Olson
3rd: 1994 Pete's Wicked Ale, Paul Jackson
4th (DNF): 1976 Olympia Beer, Greg Roth
5th (DNF) 1972 Notre Dame, Bill Brandt
6th (DNF): 1970 Pride of Pay'n Pak, Fred Olson
7th (DNF): 1999 Miss Pico, Paxton Reunanen
It was a race of carnage, as everyone tried to push against the windy conditions. One of the favorites, the 2019 champion of Fred Olson in the Pay'n Pak, was in lane one, but plowed into a buoy in the left turn. That left two boats at the front of the field, with several dead boats littering the course. The Country Boy was on the inside, and seemed to have a large lead. However, as he often does, Kirk started to reel in the Country Boy from lane two. Using the larger course kept the Vernors on top of the waves, and he closed down rapidly. As they made the final turn and headed for home, it was the Country Boy by a boat length! However, on the stretch towards the line, the Country Boy hit a wave and momentarily slowed, which allowed the Vernors to take an impressive win by less than 4 feet!
Contest Director: Dave and Brenda Brandt
Previous Race Winners
Race held in Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, Ellensburg, WA 2004, 2006-2015, Present
Race held in Lake Silverado, Adna, WA 2016-2017
Race held in Mollala, OR 2005
-2020: Kirk Maupin (1976 Miss Vernors) [nitro], Brad Lewis (1976 Spirit of Dayton Walther) [FE], Brian Packer (1983 Miss Houston) [gas]
-2019: Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame) [nitro] and Don Mock (1984 Atlas Van Lines) [FE]
-2018: Kirk Maupin (1977 Miss Esquire Products) [nitro] and Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame) [FE]
-2017: Dave Brandt (1978 Squire Shop U-64) [nitro] and Bill Brandt (1982 Gilmore Special) [FE]
-2016: Dave Brandt (1978 Squire Shop) [nitro] and Bill Brandt (1982 Gilmore Special) [FE]
-2015: Dave Brandt (1995 Pico American Dream) [nitro] and Bill Brandt (1982 Gilmore Special) [FE]
-2014: Kirk Maupin (1977 Miss Esquire Products) [nitro] and Dave Brandt (2008 Miss Elam Plus) [FE}
-2013: Kirk Maupin (1977 Squire) [nitro] and John Olson (1997 Close Call) [FE}
Prior to 2013, no FE class run
-2012: Kirk Maupin (1977 Miss Esquire Products)
-2011: Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame)
-2010: Kirk Maupin (1975 Atlas Van Lines)
-2009: Steve Schmitz (1985 Squire Shop)
-2008: Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame)
-2007: David Newton (1985 Miss 7-Eleven)
-2006: Scott Meyers (1994 Miss Exide)
-2005: Dave Brandt (1995 Pico American Dream)
-2004: Dave Brandt (1995 Pico American Dream)